The Commercial Inspector | Restaurant Design Aspects That Draw In

The Commercial Inspector Blog Posts

The Commercial Inspector

CRE tips and news by National Property Inspections



Restaurant Design Aspects That Draw In Customers

 June 7, 2023 |  Property Management, Property Investment |  restaurant, commercial real estate tenants, business tips

The restaurant industry is one of the most saturated, cutthroat, and intensely competitive industries out there. While there is plenty of misinformation about just how difficult it is to succeed in the food service business, it is widely recognized that the vast majority of restaurants close within their first five years of operation. Per the National Restaurant Association’s latest statistics, 7 out of 10 restaurants are individually owned and unassociated from any chain operations.

Considering these hurdles, restaurant owners are wise to pursue strategies that set their business apart from the competition as they work toward sustained success. While food and customer service should be every restaurateur’s main focus, their establishment’s physical design has a bigger effect on foot traffic than they might think. For any restaurant owners that are looking to attract new customers, consider these tips for an improved look.

Starting with the Standards (And Why They Work)
Depending on the style of restaurant you’re looking to open, certain repetitive features immediately come to mind. Glass front doors, a mixture of table seating and booths, and either warm lighting for fine dining settings, or neon accent lighting for sports bars are all common features. While many implement these options simply because they’ve become a comfortable standard in their slice of the culinary world, there is also a good amount of logic that supports these tried and true features.

Many restaurants understand the importance of a grand entrance, and often this includes a glass front door and plenty of window space in the entrance. An early look inside the building allows for passersby to get a taste of the attractive interior design, and (hopefully) the bustling, popular atmosphere within. General lighting and strategic accent lighting is used to further invest into whichever specific mood and clientele desired.

For example, warm lighting (yellows and golds) have the power to make spaces feel more intimate, which is needed in fine dining settings that tend to pull tables further apart for increased privacy. In contrast, (while this strategy may seem a bit counterintuitive) bright lighting is fantastic for fast food or fast casual-style dining, due to how it causes customers to be more on alert, ready to grab their food and leave. Restaurants that focus on takeout don’t want their customers to linger, and their interior design can support efficiency, without being off-putting.

Nearly all restaurants benefit from natural lighting, and warm colors (reds, yellows, and oranges) incorporated into interior designs are said to make customers hungrier, which is why so many restaurants use red in their logos. Getting these staples right are sure to aid in a restaurant’s success, but long-lasting businesses need to differentiate themselves from the pack.

Finding Where to Stand Out
Lately, there have been many trends making their way into the restaurant design scene that compliment past standards, without interfering with efficiency for the kitchen and serving staff. For the vast majority of restaurants, the kitchen and dining hall is kept in strictly separate rooms to avoid distraction. However, open kitchen concepts can make the cooking process part of a restaurant’s draw. For some, the added talking points and natural trust built through this transparency is more than enough to balance the loss from noise pollution and privacy.

When it comes to color, modern trends have leaned heavily towards high contrast, with neutral designs and bold colors positioned selectively to direct customers’ attention to interesting interior features, or displayed artwork. With the increasing prevalence of social media among millennials and Gen Z, it’s particularly important for restaurant owners to provide “share-worthy” situations. Whether a restaurant specializes in certain particularly photogenic dishes, or they’ve leaned into a unique theme, customers that share their excitement for a product or location to their friends and followers online provide invaluable organic advertising.

Murals, local art displays, and even live music performances all play into that desire for experiences that customers are more than willing to pay for today. Just like any other commercial property, using art to create a more striking, memorable image is a great way to create distinction for a business.

A great product and an appealing environment mean very little if a restaurant’s basic functions break down unexpectedly. To stay ahead of your business’ essential maintenance like HVAC systems, ventilation, and plumbing, start with an NPI commercial property inspection.

Comments are closed.





How to Keep Things Clean with Commercial Building Air Quality Control How to Keep Things Clean with Commercial Building Air Quality Control Read As we continue to grapple with the global pandemic while facing down another cold and flu season, the cleanliness of your commercial HVAC system has never been more important.
Online Grocery Shopping is Changing the Commercial Landscape Online Grocery Shopping is Changing the Commercial Landscape Read Online shopping has brought convenience, affordability and many other benefits to today’s consumers, but this evolution has also brought its share of logistical headaches. Learn about food delivery's impact on CRE.
CRE News
Choosing the Right Security Systems for Your Commercial Building Choosing the Right Security Systems for Your Commercial Building Read Commercial security systems come in all varieties, and you’ll want to utilize more than one type for added peace of mind. Check out some of the different kinds of systems you can install to help protect your building.


National Property Inspections, Inc., founded in 1987, is one of the oldest companies in the inspection industry. Our reputation is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism. National Property Inspections operates as Global Property Inspections in Canada.